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2011 PEN World Voices Festival Education. (2011) Salman Rushdie et al. New.

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Us 54, Charleston 12, America 10, Europe 10, Norman Mailer 7, China 7, United States 5, Penn 5, Germany 5, Afghanistan 5, Monsanto 4, New York 3, Lisbon 3, Toni Morrison 3, Mark Twain 2, Thilo Serrizan 2, Mandel 2, Mackenzie 2, Union 2, Grace Paley 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    2011 PEN World Voices Festival   
   Education.  (2011) Salman Rushdie et al. New.  

    July 30, 2011
    8:00 - 11:00am EDT  

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the jordanian agent who killed cia agents. the triple agent. how teddy roosevelt's life was shaped by his years in the badlands of dakota. look for the complete booktv schedule at booktv.org. visit charleston this weekend on booktv and american history tv. confederate charleston author looks at the up carolina's secession from the union at 5:15. and american history tv charleston during the american revolution. historian douglas boss dick from the carolina festival. later today at 7:00, at 11:00 eastern. discover more about the unique history of literary life with shorts on the civil war sublet -- submarine hundley and the catastrophic 86 earthquake. charleston's south carolina this weekend on c-span to and 3.
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up next on booktv writers discuss how governments can work together across national boundaries to resolve the world's issues. speakers involved toni morrison, and dale peck. this was part of the 2010 world voice festival in new york city. it is just under 3 hours. >> one of the reasons for having this was to reflect 36 years later after the norman mailer congress of the mid 80s on the themes that were discussed and one of the things people suggest is the legendary 1986 congress was not open to the general
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public. it was a closed congress in which all the sessions were only for ten members and members of the press. the new version of the festival more rightly opened up to the public that has been a great thing. it is good that we have this talk among ourselves. i want to say a few things about that old congress because to set the tone, one of the things i remember because i was there as a much younger writer leading to these grand figures of world literature was quite a gathering of voices, anybody you can think of, john updike, on and on and on. me as the kid in the quarter and
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one of the things i remember which was different from the pen festivals we're having now is how bad tempered was. all the writers were fighting with each other like fight -- cats and dogs. got very upset that there was a panel in which politicians had been invited to speak, figures like bruno kreisky. he was an anti-semite in spite of the fact that he is a jew and had austria under his leadership had accepted more refugee jews from the soviet union than any other country. in spite of this he was anti-semitic. he had one brief meeting with yasir arafat. so she was collecting signatures
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against him and stood up -- i thought he responded with enormous up from. he said there are a lot of people in this room. it is too big to discuss these important matters. this was at the essex house hotel. what he suggested after the session was find a room in the hotel and i will undertake to be there with no time limit to discuss whatever you want to discuss. immediately defeating the protest completely because nobody wanted to do that. that shut her up. there was a big quarrel between representing -- grace paley representing the views of female delegates that they were seriously underrepresented on the panels which was true. she got into a quarrel with
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norman mailer which led to his remark that he hadn't set up this congress to be put away by grace paley which led to grace paley being on the front page of the new york post. that is quite an achievement which she could not have expected. also led to sun tag and border -- susan's on deck remarked literature was not an equal opportunity employer which didn't go down at all well. susan didn't care. there was a big fight, saul bellow -- one of my favorite memories was the opening ceremony was that the public library and because norman mailer had in many people's view mistakenly invited secretary of state george shultz to deliver the opening address not long
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after he made a statement supporting the apartheid regime in south africa meaning of the south african writers were at the event, because schulz was there. will almost presidential level of security around the public library we all had to bring various forms of id and he forgot to bring his id. this was after he won the nobel prize. there with extraordinary fight, a little chair like this outside the library not being allowed in until norman mailer vouched for him. just imagine how much he enjoyed being vouched for by norman mailer. america's nobel laureate was allowed into the room. it was a very contentious time but i think one of the reasons it was contentious is that all of us, writers believe that the
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role of the public, the role of the writer was important and needed to be argued out and was not kidding around. people took it very seriously. three years before the fall of the soviet union the brazil two years before charter 88, led the way towards communist downfall, a time when writers around the world were in many ways at the center of the national argument in a way we mayfield is no longer the case. and what should be done about it. there are clearly part of the world in which it is still the case and we recognized in earlier sessions of this festival the problems are rising
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in china, our colleague wu was not able to be here. yesterday received in various forms and translated and have replied to that letter and there's a press release going out today about that so we should have a look at that. he was very appreciative of the gestures made on his behalf at the opening ceremony, the empty chair and so on, he felt very much he was here in spirit even though he couldn't be here. we sent back messages that we would keep up the attention. there are parts of the world where writers and filmmakers, painters, artists have been at the forefront of that kind of national argument. i don't quite know why it
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doesn't happen so much in america anymore. there was a time there were writers like norman mailer and robert stone and the whole generation of writers who very consciously looked for a public voice, a public role. i am not sure who their equivalent today might be. the idea of what has gone wrong, we started this question in the festival, this incarnation of public face, this is my spinach. you hear the popeye music. we felt at that time seven years ago then there was really a
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place for writers, a role for writers in restarting public conversation between the united states and the rest of the world which the bush administration seemed to have been quite seriously derailed. america wasn't listening to the world's of voices and the world's voices were increasingly saying and doing. that wasn't particularly good for america or the rest of the world. you needed to start rebuilding the bridge in which these conversations even if they were tough conversations could take place. i remember in the first year we invited a number of arab writers at that particular moment could be heard in the city and they were the sessions that you couldn't get into for love or money. people were hanging off of rafters to commandeer those voices so it was clear that
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among the american audiences and american readership there was an enormous hundred to hear those voices and not just the official voices and bullet points you hear on the news. times have changed but that idea of a dialogue between the most interesting writers and intellectuals in the world and american readers and american writers is a very important thing to keep up. i am delighted that after seven years this festival seems to have established itself and people seem to see that it is valuable. maybe we need to think about that but the question of america's relationship to the world, where it is right now is a little strange. and administration that came in
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on a peace platform has sent more american soldiers and spend more american money overseas than the administration before it. you can be an admirer of obama's but it is a strange fact that that happened. given that i remember a speech he made in which he said he would bring the troops home and you could take that to the bank and put it in the bank. that hasn't happened yet. where are we in terms of that conversation between america and the world? that might be something to pick up on. the question of how imagination -- that was the norman mailer subject -- imagination of the writer and the state, the imaginings. howard does that confront and read the fine and argue with the versions of
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society given us by our readers who are also imagining the world? remember one of the things people argued about in the 1986 conference was whether you could really say that the state had such a thing as imagination. i always remembered the yugoslav writer daniel a quiche. in his statement he felt not only did the state have an imagination but a sense of humor. he said and would like to give you an example of a joke by the state. he talked about a letter he received in paris from back home. perfectly ordinary looking letter and when he opened it on the first page of the letter was an official stamp which said this letter has not been
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censored. even a good joke. that question of what was behind norman mailer's formulation was very important idea that the reason writers, artists and politicians so often find themselves at odds is in many ways they are trying to do the same thing. they're both trying to create a version of the world and impose it on reality. any statement has the kind of vision or a sort of vision about how all things are or should be or where things should go and how to get there. they attempt to persuade us of we should prefer another revision being offered by
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another side. making visions of the world is routinely what writers and artists do so quite often particularly at contentious times those visions come into collision and that is what norman was trying to get at all those years ago but how do they come into collision? if we believe there are things wrong with the official versions of the world that we are being stalin fed by political leaders what do we do about combating those versions of the world and how do we offer our own aversion is in that place? how do we get people to listen? we have a group of people who are going to speak one after the other and there will be a break and some more people. let me tell you the running order and i will get off the stage.
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the first speaker is frank western --westerman one of the leading nonfiction writers in world war ii. i have invited him to be the correspondence from belgrade and he has worked in moscow. among his most frequently translated titles are engineers of the fold which was recently listed as the best travel book of 2010 by the sunday times. in september of 2010 he published perfect course which is being translated into english, german leader italian, slovenian and spanish. and a statement by charles norman who is unable to be with us because he is in jail.
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he says in a message he survived 30 years in florida prisons for the wrongful commission of a murder i did not commit. he has poetry, short-story, memoirs and plays and numerous national writing awards. i love the elasticity of english. our words can be shaped and been steadily slicing through the cage that confine me setting the free. be read for us. who is going to read it? john -- it is too early in the
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morning. everything is on different pieces of paper. why is this? i will find it. be on one of these. now i am going to have lost everything else. here we are. ireland's prison in june of 2010 after working in the prison service for 42 years. his first book the governor is and he is going to read for us charles morgan's statement. after that we are going to have all those gifted young people privilege of addressing last
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fall when my last book came out. they were much smarter than me. i think it is going to be very to say. the historian did not get his visa in time. he got his visa and is on his way to join us but he can't be here in time for this session. he will arrive later today. wheat doubled as the order a little bit and what we have got instead is dale peck along with his colleague lisa deerback will step into that slot. there cofounders of mr. and mayhem books. novelist and critic as well -- read out everybody's literary prizes.
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writer of a young adult literature which i envy. and lives in new york and teaches in a new school graduate writing program. after they have finished their will be a period of time for q&a. really opening up this session to conversation for any of you heard. specific panelists or speakers say and have a break and there will be a second session. that is enough for me. led the battle commence. [applause] >> thank you and good morning to
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wall. whenever i have a hard time understanding people i like to look at animals. and today i would like to take you past a few snapshots from the last century. snapshot about the role biology place in the way we see ourselves and why that is disturbing. to start with, berlin, 1933. from that year the berlin zoo begins cutting back on the number of exotic species to make room for indigenous german ones. kangaroos and cobras had to make room for deer and otters and the central wolf became the main attraction. still in germany starting from
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1933 biology lessons in school are increased by 50% at the expense of foreign language. the official objective of this shift was to buy all of guys -- biology the earth. i bought the text books. one of them is a work that in it biology is reduced to feet genetics of greg or mental -- e --gregor mendel who discovered how carriers of certain traits belong stems or short stems or brown eyes or blue eyes are passed from one generation to
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another. with the business of upgrading species had a scientific basis in nazi germany he was on a postage stamp issued in 1939 and to the right were the words healthy children, happy future. i was surprised to read german students at the time were required as i was in high school to perform experiments crossing fruit flies. the red dyed ones you cross with the right side ones and hitler's ministry of education was ordered to supply sufficient quantities of fruit flies at any time. and added surprise the text
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books contained full out family trees. this is one of them. this piece of paper looks exactly like a page from books of horse breeding. parents and grandparents and their hair, and also the hereditary illnesses. the parallel with horse breeding struck me because i was researching the history and fate of a race of course --horse bread for the austrian emperor. hitler was not a horse lover but he was an austrian. just like the performances of the white stallion at spanish riding school in vienna and he
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was obsessive with racial purity. snapshot from nazi germany. in order to be admitted to the ss, the racial elite, candidate had to prove german ancestry running back five generations. by comparison the criterion for entry is a full with 5 generations of purebred ancestry is considered purebred as well. if you assume that the life expectancy of the average european is 75 years than a lifetime has passed since the nuremberg race laws in 1955. a social democrat and former governor, board member of the
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german central bank did not live through the work. born in 1945 he is now 66 and seems to be on the verge of a new career. present-day followers -- of the own people first doctrine has welcomed him as a savior. his rapidly expanding group of fans make themselves known with a popular bumper sticker saying [speaking german] -- he has a dog and loves to walk his faithful companion in boots and to share his flashes of insight with us, quote, every breeder of dogs warhorses lives with the fact there are major differences in temperament between these animals and those differences are hereditary. it means many animals are more
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stupid or significantly more intelligent than comparable species of the same race. this is a quote from his book about the immigration and substandard integration of non germans in germany. germany abolishes itself. it is about population biology supported by national census statistics. and data shows the muslim community in germany not only lowers the country's average iq but reproduces faster than any other. if things go this way germany will become europe's brother.
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thilo serrizan is not that neo-nazi. they do not come from the well indicated of society. their relative stupidity he claims is the culture related fact which by political correctness bears to mention out loud. the real problem comes with the social biological measures he suggests which is more children meaning highly educated chairman germans german women should be rewarded for reproducing. his proposition undermines the principle of equality enshrined in the constitution of all civilized countries. that is the dangerous thing about it. what bothers me more than the message itself is the enthusiasm with which it was received.
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since its publication in 20101.five million germans have bought this book. there's even a pro thilo serrizan web site. let's move on to another snapshot from the animal kingdom. this time from moscow, 1948 after the second world war. the soviet academy of sciences announced a measure intended to score a parting principle to biology that had to be reinforced. one of the measures was the destruction of all fruit fly populations used in scientific research. in budapest party officials celebrated the killing of the fruit fly during a public rally
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accompanied by slam's speech. all over the world ever since they started at columbia university fruit flies have become the test animal in genetics. in response to the holocaust stalin decided to revamp soviet biology to hit a new marxist goal and to that end he brought forward a biologist who declared mandel's was to be null and void. there was no such thing as jeans. had anyone seen them? defenders of the status quo. people who believed ancestry determines your future. that smacks of predestination
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and define destiny. of gas chambers and the sweat of slaves. all forms of genetic research into aptitude and skin color were taboo. where hitler thought he could breed a new human being by relying on nature, stalin decided to tip the scale by changing the environment, doing away with frank and class. would grow tall and prosper. with a little guidance if needed.
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in czechoslovakia mandel was troubled and his followers were referred to as fruit fly lovers, people haters and were depicted wearing pointed ku klux klan hoods. i bought a handbook that was published in 53 and -- it doesn't matter anymore. an organism can be changed by changing its surroundings so that it can be hardened by exposing it to extreme cold. those that survive will automatically pass along the new film resistance. that is the way heredity works. outside the soviet union the area of a geneless biology was not welcome the. humanist thinkers like george
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bernard shaw were systematically playing down the importance of nature, inborn differences between groups of people that lend themselves so readily to racial doctrine. ionesco's statement on race in the 50s was based on no more auschwitz sentiment declaring there is no biological justification for race hatred or prejudice. according to the postwar generation of left-wing opinion leaders, aggressive behavior was found in the rotten soil of consumer capitalism. criminals were not bad by nature. they were the product of unemployment and exploitation. anyone looking to genes or the human brain for an explanation
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was ridiculed. criminologist arthur bachhausen was treated this way when he tried to set out hereditary confidence of aggression. something similar happened to the dutch neurologist dick spark who in 1989 discovered an anomaly in the brains of in heterosexuals. both scientists were about to render it not the practices. anonymous letter to professor michelob, we homosexuals will today science shows as things thought. not just nature and nurture that contributes independently to we
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outside influences happen to be and off for subsequent other words the central proposition of stalin's genetics that it acquired characteristics can be inherited is not an true. a new branch of science, at the genetics is making progress on the cutting edge between hitler and stalin's 1-sided views of biology. to go back to horses the color of a horse's cote is genes alone. and his hoofs can be traced to the environment. the rocky -- along the coast where the animal has been for
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centuries. people in general prefer simplification to this. so the pendulum driven by a perpetual motion machine of action and reaction swings too far again and again. in this case from a 1-sided emphasis on nature in the first half of the 20th century to nurture in the second half and endless appearances, powerful d-backs to nature in the start of the 20 first and the new biological thinking, many more examples but a few more minutes left. new biological thinking lends a certain cachet to anti-immigration parties and those parties are on the rise in europe now not only in germany
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but in belgium, france, particularly interested in the differences between people, not similarities. at the same time they advance an implicit or barely explicit standard of a type of human beings they consider to be superior. in contrast with which nonstandard groups come across as inferior. conditions in the 20 first century are different from lifetime ago the roots of deviant behavior are again today being searched for more and more in hereditary traits. the defect of groups of people found in their hardware, nature, not in their software, nurture
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or culture. so reprogramming is of no use. hints the recipe to apply a certain amount of eugenics. by way of conclusion allow me to post questions. can the writer remain quietly on the sideline when the shop coach tours are living up of a new black and white school of thought in the categories of superiority versus inferiority? our literature does not have to do something. it is free or at least should be. but i believe it can do something. the written word can serve as a remedy to communication.
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it can reply and argue and critically follow science. it can blow your mind. i remember that evening tao can kopf was murdered by a muslim fundamentalist who believed he was acting in the word of allah. i was sitting with some friends including a deputy editor for the newspaper. this is exactly why, he said loudly when the evening was far gone, this is why we have to go on publishing long, complicated essays. i do not believe in literature aimed at popular edification. was an idea that was corrupted and went hand in hand with unbridled faith in the ability of mankind by nurture. if we swing through the other
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extreme to the idea that who we are is fixed at birth and nurture can describe destruction and entertainment, the new biological thinking with its emphasis on what is ordained continues to be completely -- what i do believe in is the power of imagination. i believe every writer by creating characters contributes to the human capacity of placing one's self in someone else's shoes. and the choice of shifting point of view and a goals of approach which is a writer's work the medicine of the television. does this automatically lead to more empathy? i would stake my life on it.
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what i do know is if you lose the capacity to empathize with others, that will be the end of the story. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the invitation. i spend all my life working in prison and one of the most common features of prison life was always every sentence spoken the question was always asked are you listening? it is a privilege to be asked to read a message from a prisoner who was 33 years in an american prison and so close to what i believe in which is every human
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being has the right to be heard and only by listening can we ever understand. i am restricted in time so i will read fast rather than leave something out. the state of persons and prisoners in america. my name is charles patrick norman. i am a political prisoner of american war on crime. you may find our wars are between more and more like. my wars come from inside a maximum-security prison. the ward and refused my request to travel to new york to give my speech in person even though i promised to return. let me take an informal survey by show of hands. if you are 32 years or younger please raise your hand. all those who are 42 or younger raise your hand. look around and see how many.
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thank you. i ask that question for a reason. for those who raised their hand i have been serving time for a murder i did not commit sins before you were born. i serve your entire life and half of mine in prison. one third of the century. if you did not raise your hand take a moment and think how old you were and what you were doing 43 years when i came to prison. jimmy carter was the american president. jim jones had not taken his followers into jonestown massacre. some were little children. some were teenagers. some had families. husbands beat goliath and daughters. think about how your life has changed, how different you are from what you were then and think about me as a human being with hopes and dreams to be personally 28-year-old who walked out on that wednesday
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morning in 1978 never suspecting that was the last time he would wake in freedom in his own bed lying next to a woman who loved him. i am 61 years old and have been in florida's worst prisons over the last 33 years. i have in door and survived wars you could not imagine. the corrupt prosecutor thwarted in his efforts to electrocute me was overheard saying norman will never survive a life sentence. i am determined to prove him wrong. i'm not the same person i was in 1978. i have changed. i have seen good men and bad men die, relieved to be free of this at last. others died hard fighting to live and breathe and a little longer in this world but nevertheless each of us is you might ask what kind of person are you, charlie?
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how did it make me to believe i'm a better man now that i was then? rather than allow fresen to destroy me i emerged refined and purified against all the odds stronger in mind and spirit if not body. i refuse to let them beat me down as they do so many. i am not the only one. extraordinary men and men women have emerged with their humanity intact. even before being released from one of my personal heroes. if he could do it i could. texas mccain told me we prisoners were defective and came out of a flawed factory at each of us were in prison to be repaired. imagine a long line of broken people on a conveyor belt entering and another line of
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people on the other side. the problems it takes for a chain gang philosopher for 20 years was when we got inside the factory we were not being repaired but damage worse. if we were houses of cards, returning to the factory, when we emerged we're missing wheels with better engines and clouds of smoke coming out of the exhaust. prison were carved or released in the factory many would run off of the road to the ditch and across the double yellow line and other innocent drivers paid off and make it through red lights and obstacles in their path and make it on their way home. i went on for of the general motors factory. the number of autoworkers on the assembly line amazed me. doing their jobs quickly before the bank moved to the next
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station. i see no -- i see machines, robots assembling like a futuristic seen from terminator. prison has changed. when i came here, in north florida, immortalized in the cool hand luke other stories, the population was one fifth what it is today. if life in prison is called good the ever-present threat of being stabbed, raped, murdered or shot, also new -- time to be strong and mind their own business and not get involved in drugs, alcohol, gambling or loansharking or other traps guaranteed to bring men down. earned a high school equivalency
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diploma, college correspondence learning the trade to the improvement programs to learn to be a better person, learn how to create -- spending money and arts and crafts on weekends with loved ones and behave themselves and their and their release and parole and go home. the reality is different. the war on drugs--the cartel started our shores and found a willing market among our nation's youth. a 16-year-old inner city youth to get his high school diploma, hopes to get a full-time job imam minimum-wage where he can stand on a quarter in a booth for a few hours and make a thousand dollars selling rocks. when he is in an outdoor prison in a year or two with mandatory sentencing, provided by a corrupt guard that he is receiving, crime pays.
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two million prisoners are receiving the same message. prisons began administrating psychotropic drugs strong enough -- chemical taser is illegal walking cavaliers. as politicians strengthen every crime we need to find a backlog -- they will fill them. find people to work in them. the prison population tripled -- society was no better. it fuelled the crime wave and only got worse. the collateral damage to divert them early on from the path of crime, addiction and prison. the money eventually spend to incarcerate the children after they became adult criminals education. after getting shuffled through
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justice even more damage, then came sept. eleventh, 2001. water boarding, it was only natural the same labor pool of prison guards would be joining soldiers in the marines. when they came back to the states they different. the experience damaged them. any surprise that those involved in the prison brutality scandal were members of the west virginia national guard of state prison guards applying lessons learned in their prisons to the iraqi detainees and the benefit
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of their experience when they returned to civilian life? prisons are still diversity like the auto factories, production is up and it is hard to find any humans working there. the robots have taken over. at least they act like robot. they show little human emotion. the conveyor belt with spouse along the lines. inventory serial numbers, not names. mine is 881834. my human name is -- ask anyone who has been freed from in 20 years with his prison number is and he will rack off without hesitation. how we change the dysfunction of the prison system? we need to throw away the mentality that dominate fear of crime and violence. we must stop using prison as warehouses to store the poor and homeless and mentally ill.
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we must stop dehumanizing. the dehumanization process, drive some of humanity and you know logger treat them humanely. dehumanize a group of people in you can commit genocide. when someone has been dehumanized how do you restore them to their human condition? that is a more difficult problem. all i can do is speak from my own experience and provide some insight. i have suffered 43 years. how i have maintained my integrity and sanity in this barbaric treatment, a lot of people marvel of a haven't thrown in the towel. how have i been able to survive seemingly unscathed? continued to be creative and productive educating myself and others and even share my thoughts with groups of people with little conception of harsh prison reality beyond the
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shawshank redemption? i did not do it alone. it would take a book to explain how i became the man i am but i can give the short answer. the act of loving and being loved. feeling and experiencing love in a world of hate has helped me prosper and kept me human. it has given the strength and resolve to resist acts of dehumanization as so many of my fellow prisoners to love and be loved is to be human. i have been blessed to sense the love of fellow humans. love has protected me and inspired me to reach out and communicate with the outside world in spite of those who put me in solitary confinement to silence me and share my thoughts and feelings to become a better man. in the last 25 years, encouraged me and taught me things that changed my life for the better. they have done for, was other
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prison writers to have their -- beginning with the late fielding dawson who became a true friend. jackson taylor, heady jones, william bradley, having reached through the razor wire extended gift of knowledge and love their people i never met but i feel closer to them than members of my own family. they read my words and accepted me. that is love. on a closer front for the past 11 years i have been loved by a remarkable woman who taught by example. without her love our would have been silenced and would not be sharing my thoughts today with you. please applaud her for me. [applause] for that and more for the
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opportunity of great opposition -- to be one of you i thank you and salute you. i ask you continue to fight and love others. many who may seem unlovable, fortunate than yourself. i include myself in that category. i remain resolute in mind and spirit. it has been a long battle against the odds. more damage -- prison is the man's game and this old man is ready to go home. charles patrick norman, 81834. [applause] >> on behalf of all of us, thank you for honoring us with the opportunity to speak here today.
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throughout the world much has changed in the last 25 years. for one thing there are more of us here. nearly two billion more. the economy has shifted. leaders have come and don and countries have split and reformed. unprecedented developments in technology from the internet to the smart phone have dramatically altered the way we live our lives. the issues we face today are not new. humans use environmental destruction, global warming did not spring upon us suddenly. widespread consciousness of the severity is relatively young. the influence of money and economic system this the society is deeply rooted. potential for disparity between the actions of the government and the will of the people have existed as long as we have. we have in justice in the
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education system. we are confronted with innumerable forms of inequality. believe all of these lies and alienating tendency. a focus on constructing artificial categories within our individual, social and global relationship. we separate ourselves conceptually from nature in conceiving of a passive other non human environment we are free to change and act upon at will. we do the same with other in humans when we decide there's a fundamental difference between us and them. with the we face this on background, education, wealth, skin color, gender or belief system this is just as true when we reconstruct barriers between the east and west, south and north, developed and developing. our goal must be to deconstructs the division we have so tirelessly put in place over the
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last two centuries. we must seek connections between areas we have dealt with as extinct. we must build categories, set free labels and dissolve the sense that the world exist as it is independent from history and in movable by human agencies. it is time to look past simple concepts of fixed true for the malleable network of international, multi-cultural, interdisciplinary and interpersonal collaboration. the troubled human relationship with peyton on human environment is one of the most far-reaching problems of our time. deportation, water and air pollution, by a diversity loss and climate change are just a few of the diverse and interrelated issues as we teeter on the edge of irreversible degradation. implementing ecologically sound ways of using resources, renewable energy and government
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regulation of industry are always short term action can bring about long-term sustainability. despite widespread scientific consensus that climate change and other environmental problems pose a serious and imminent threat to humanity and all other life the world and particularly the united states government has not yet taken any comprehensive broad reaching environmental action. some point to the political divisiveness and restraining hold of american two party politics but this alone cannot explain our lack of global coordinated effort to rethink the way we interact with and use our natural resources. .. and the land
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that we live on. we must limit or alter our current economic system if we're going to move forward. on another deeper level, it is critical that we begin to deconstruct the divide that we have placed between ourselves and nonhuman nature. the promise fortunate historian william cronin warns of thinking of nature as distant humanless wilderness that exists independently from and perhaps contrary to human progress. how can we alienate our environments encompassing all we
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humans depend upon and create as something passive as expendable? we must dissolve the boundaries between pristine wilderness and home and cities and humans. only by placing ourselves in with nature can we begin to interact with our environment in a way that is once more reasonable innovative and productive. [applause] >> this desire for money is one of the biggest issues facing the world today. worldwide economic problems include poverty, unequaled distribution of wealth between classes, valuing profits over environmental and human safety and subrogation of local industries for local or foreign gain. today half of the world's population lives on less than $2 per day.
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such dramatic levels of poverty have people lacking for the most basic necessities, food, water and shelter. 1.1 billion people do not have adequate access to water. money regulate these vital necessities and further impacts other aspects of life from education, and housing. without money there's a slim chance without improving your life. the dichotomy that grows between the rich and the poor makes it harder to alleviate this poverty. the separation creates a barrier, one that must be overcome. while billions struggle to make it through another day, there are some who earn more than they could spend in a lifetime. the richest 1% earns as much of the world's income as the bottom 57%. this inequality thrives within countries around the world. the nation does not reflect the population.
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in the end, china may be quickly developing but how many millions of people live in profit while big business profits. in the united states tax cuts were given to the richest 2% of the country. at a time when the government needed nothing more than tax revenue in order to support programs that benefit the economically disadvantaged. class division is an important facet of the problem. they will look for the cheapest labor if he can they getting. limited and no benefits. look at american companies, unions and american companies, if there are a union at all are securing power. in some companies, illegal immigrants make up much of the work force ensuring even less bargaining power for those employees. but the biggest tactic used by
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american and other internationally-based companies today is to shift production overseas. to less developed, less regulated countries with a bigger work force again such as india and china because it is cheaper. some say that many of these workers primarily agriculture villagers would be even poorer without the factory jobs. but@v should that speculation b the@" basis of acceptable corporate practice? these conditions are deplorable. what kind of global society composed of supposedly empathetic fellow humans could not value human life over cheap technology that earns millions of dollars to a handful of people. with these huge problems solutions seem few and far between. it is often difficult to create policies that help the most in need or a global system run on
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money there's little incentives for those to help those who have nothing to give. those must act in the best interest of their citizens not in the interest of a meager but wealthy minority that manipulates connections. governments must be held accountable. many of these many problems stems from governments failing to invest money with the best interest of its citizenry in mind. to reduce the cost divide the government should invest in infrastructure, green energy alternatives and social support systems such as social security and medicare. because they all promote economic equality. the government must work to foster companies that the company must hire and treat their employees fairly to help ensure the jobs provided to often poor workers are safe and have fair pay, there must be
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channels through which employees can bargain with their employer. this exchange can take the form of labor unions, swift government regulation of industry, or third-party organizations exposing harmful practices. government regulation and outside investigation into company policies extends to both labor conditions and environmental protection. if companies don't face repercussions for harmful practices they're very unlikely to change their ways on their own. [applause] >> you born witness to an education whose flaws reflected throughout the united states. we had experience of our resources suddenly as a whole further dwindle. furthermore it becomes obvious that american society has failed to recognize the value of education. misguided reform efforts such as no child left behind have by
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forcing teachers across the country to teach to tests. a statistical standard for educational achievement and an approach that's largely detrimental. education is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. the value of a dedicated and capable teacher cannot be overstated. it may be an unfavorable career choice for the avarice and there's an award greater than any monetary profit. take, for instance, the teachers at the dandelion school in beijing, china. they teach children to the migrant workers who would not intake to school. they tend to pale when the question is examined under an international scale. in 19996, the taliban made it illegal for women to attend to school in afghanistan. while this particular policy was discarded in 2001, similar
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deplorable circumstances still exist in afghanistan and around the world. the limitations and implications of existing education systems are far-reaching. yet there are concrete steps that can correct the damaging nature of existing education systems or the lack thereof. any institutions with international jurisdiction can and must institute global education programs including early childhood and vocational programs. early childhood education such aspiration head start provides comprehensive health, education and parent involvement to low-incomed families in the united states. vocational education is a further means of empowerment. by powering the technical skills and training to make individuals valuable members of the work force, such educational programs can also be recognized for their economic value. early childhood education as well as vocational training and educational opportunities are all viable in empowering
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programs that must be instituted in a global context. education is a powerful thing. and can be central in working to dissolve the problematic barriers and social constructs and restrictions that define in part the social, economic and environmental crisis in which we now find ourselves. these students and inheritors of earth encourage writers to see what we have seen. the wilting environmental to migrant workers and the poor and into the pockets of a lucky few. approach the disadvantaged situation with empathy. understand that what you think separates you from these problems is complete fabrication. every problem that we have mentioned reverberates the tangled web of the world and has an impact on you. when you look up at the new york city sky tonight you won't see many stars because of light pollution. a horribly underpaid worker picked the banana you ate my generation receives their
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education in underfunded schools. break down the barriers and approach the crisis of today. when you don't to believe you're intrinsically connected to these issues. and write about it. [applause] >> thank you for including mischief and mayhem. i want to talk to you about censorship and the first amendment. freedom of expression is under threat. writers have been taken off guard here because this threat is new. and it's not what we expected. it's gnawing away at literature. we're defenseless because we're not prepared for it. first let me tell you what it isn't. this is not the smithsonian museum caving into the catholic league. this is not an outcry. this is not rudy giuliani
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crusading against jesus as black and female or mary and camel dung. this threat comes from an entirely unexpected place. it sits at our bistro table. it shares our sense of humor. it gets us drunk at book parties. it sits at us and smiles. the free speech is us and our trusted colleagues. we the writers have become our own enemies. we the requires together with our publishers, ouraries -- ed are its and writers that we signed. it's the little answer we gave one of we cashed the check. it's the devil's bargain we signed into with a troubled business industry, we wrote to the man. the man was good to us and he let us see the boss in the beginning. he discovered us. picked our first manuscript out of the slush pile. he took us all out to lunch at the union square cafe.
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the man took care of our schnauzer while we were at yado. he invited us to his country house in rin beck. he took us apple-picking even gave us keys so we could hole up in the guest house and finish our next novel. he read our manuscript four times and every time he read it, he helped make it better. some of us believe the man is not the man. that he is the muse that we would not be writers without him. this man is a good man, our friend, our ally, our advisor. we made be published by him. but those were different days. the man was in the black and now he's in the red and now he's a changed man a desperate man. ebooks are cheap and easy and anyone can do them any one of them here in this room. the man is in danger of being disintermediatiated. that's wall street term and what that means is obliterated. if writers can publish their own books the man wonders will his
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services will be needed. changes are affecting the status quo the cozy book lined row, the gym music, the private school tuition payments. the publishing revolution as dramatic as guttenberg's invention of the printing press is about to explode. the man is afraid. what if his publishing company goes under? is the vast corporate big chains he depends on will go out of business. what will happen to the man? i'll tell you what. he'll ask you to destroy your book. the man will tell you you have to change your work. the man may have been our friend. he may have been lover of books and lover. he's two faced half art half commerce and light. i'm here to speak to you the truth today. that agent, that publisher the one who admires your work. the one who launched your career, he's lying. if you get in bed with the man
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he will die. all of our books, literature will be hobbled and sanitized. how do i know this? because it is already happening. many are colluding to destroy any book. writers are muzzling themselves. i submit we are not writing the books with no longer want to write. we no longer dare. we have one eye on our bank account and the other on our amazon ranking. we've allowed ourselves to tyrannizeded by numbers. accountants have taken control of the publishing houses and when bureaucrats rule, art gets strangled. who in this room has not been instructive to remove material from their last manuscript, i wonder? at mischief and mayhem we document these instances of publishers interfering with content, not editing but expunging. reports of drastic editorial intervention are rising. one critic at a national magazine she can sense a sea change. books are on her book but they
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are missing something. they are flat and anemic that they are smooth and polished to make readers smile. they are coming to a crisis so severe it's tantamount to censorship. go to the penn membership sell operation this past member and ask a writer is, your editor or agent diluting your ideas. some of you are i go this, this woman is exaggerating. all of this is normal. publishers ask for changes. they edit our books. that isn't censorship. i ask to you reconsider when we set aside our freedom what we want to be spiky and unpopular and politically incorrect to be ornery and dangerous. when we lose the courage to speak our minds, what is lost? it's the imagination that is under threat. innovation and the possibility of dissent. [applause]
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>> the first words i have on my piece of paper are good morning and i'm the last person and we'll all goat break and have some coffee. thank you all for coming. gathered us together to discuss what went wrong and how to fix it. what went wrong after the 2008 election? what went wrong after hurricane katrina what went wrong after 9/11? what went wrong after the cold war ended after the disillusion of europe's colleenial empires and the founding of the united nations and period of timantly to us as writers, editors, educators and writers what went wrong not with literature and publishing but with the imagination. with the way we as members of the literary community think, talk and write about our world and the way our words shaped the body politic thinks, talks and writes about its world. how did writers see their place as public philosophers as the individuals who set the tone if not the terms of national and international political discourse become talk show pundits and blog fear babblers
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the geeky side kicks and model actors and rock stars turned politician? when did so many of us become more concerned with being heard rather than saying something worth hearing? during the course of this remarkable festival you're going to hear two messages over and over again. one will be about the power and urgency of the written word whether scrawled on a sheet of paper, spray painted on a wall of a prison and security zone, tweeted on a mobile phone published in a newspaper or magazine or printed, however, we define that term in the digital age in a book. the other will be that the derelict state of contemporary of literature of fill teens and other art. it's generally broken up into two categories the first which my colleague just addressed is the growing failure of writers who withstand the muzzle of the current literary panic and to create genuinely idiosyncratic authentically personal and morally compelling works of art. the second concerns the business of books, of struggling
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publishers and disappearing book sellers in ever dwindling numbers of literary titles. this is what i want to talk to you about and this is all i have to say. comrades the publishing industry isn't dying. it's dead. but this event isn't a funeral. it's a revival. because the only way we can get on with our business, which isn't getting on oprah or the "new york times" bestseller list or even getting books into readers hands -- the only way we can get back to writing is if we finally buried publishing corpse and popping up to build something new something that will serve the needs not ofairies or marketers or publisher or shareholders or the culture industry of writers and readers who together are part of the literary community which is to say the only thing that matters. i have no doubt that over the course of the festival seven days we'll hear many well researched and well argued explanations for how we got from there a mythical golden age in
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which maxwell perkins sat down with the great gatsby came to a pair of paragraphs as we crossed blackwell's island a limousine passed us driven by a white chauffeur in which shot two bucks and a girl. i laughed allowed at theiolings of their eyeballs anything can happen that we slid over this bridge, i thought. anything at all. and instead of drawing a red line for the passage decided that readers could make up their own minds about nick caraway's or f scott fitzgerald's racism to hear a pursuedish in a moment not only is the "n" word which removed from tom sawer and huckleberry friend and it refers to the deleted term only as the "n" word or even more vaguely, a hurtful epithet. the controversy over tom sawyer and huckleberry finn. the decision to replace the word "n" word with the to slave and to refers to black people, in fact, slaves was done to, quote,
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save the books. according to the book's editor both novels can be enjoyed deeply and authentically unquote. not despite the change but because of it. this is a lie. i know it and you know it susan larowsa know it and they don't know it then god know they have no business editing or educating children whether they are racist or not replaced a word the author used altered text is the debasement of the word authentic. the idea that early 21st century readers can read about antebellum authors in 19 century text with politically correct language is only slightly thus offensive than the idea that contemporary readers who don't want to read huckleberry finn should be forced to do so anyway which is in turn trumped by the offensive object surity which is the idea that literature needs saving. literature isn't a special needs trial to a handy capable adult.
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it's not a 6-year-old dyslexic girl who has to be drilled on the difference. it's fought a 35-year-old man who suffered a spinal cord injury and needs how to pop his wheelchair over an uncut curve. literature is not strong it's weak. literature isn't protected it protects and finally, literature cannot be saved because literature saves us. when it no longer saves us, it is no longer literature. perhaps it was once and is lost its relevance. perhaps it never was. the distinction is the one we can and should argue about and if we don't reach a conclusion or agreement that's good sign. the book which everyone is in universally agreement is a book that lost its relevance. a literary classic that we can borrow from our beleaguered colleague mark twain is a book talked about but no one has read. there's an ominous resonance in twain's word it points up a
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second and subconscious modification is not getting people to read them because whatever you call this new hybrid it's not the adventures of tom sawer or huckleberry fi in, n by mark twain. their arguments frequently interchanged readers for the audience and audience for the word market and the word market for numbers. in this case an initial print run of 7500 hard covered copies that was up 10,000 after the controversy boosted preorders. such is the desperate state of literature in america that we must bastardize a book in order to sell it and wrap our censorship and history in things like enjoy, education, and authenticity offer the sake of earning a few more dollars that will enable us to keep on going for a few more years and publish a few more books. in addition of lolita in which dolores hays is 21 rather than 12. crime and punishment which they yell boo instead of cracking their skulls open with an ax in
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addition with the bible upontious pilots and jesus christ go to arbitration go with the bloody farfetched business of crewfection, resurrection, crucifixion and holocaust. this is not a publishing industry worth fighting for because it isn't the publishing industry as we have been taught to think of it. a high-minded cultural enterprise who's sole task for writers to readers and the woefully state of publishing today is the industry's fault and when i say industry i include all of in this room because consciously or not happily or not it is we who allow publishing companies and retailers to dictate the terms by which we turn our words into books and deliver our books to readers. and those terms to put it as bluntly as possible are the "f" word. it makes the detroit auto workers to geniuses they give the bulk of our money our money to increasingly irrelevant intermediaries and on top of that, allow retailers to return
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any merchandise they can't sell at the publisher's expense for a full refund. they spend virtually nothing on promotion and a past review culture that more and more thinks it's job is to sell books rather than evaluate them and most damning they not only refuse to i think what the way they do business but expect riders to bear the brunt of the disaster in the form of decreased advances, decreased sales and decreased opportunities to publish work that doesn't fit in a increasingly homoz recognized working place. what is most astonishly it doesn't have to be this way. it's possible for each and every writer to sell his or her books directly to readers not just the steven king's and john browns and john grisham who mark my words will be do egg it soon enough but each and every person in this room today and each and every person whoever gets it together put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and churn out a few hundred or 1,000 or 100,000 words. i'm not talking about amazon's print on demand and ebook
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services. amazon is not your friend. amazon is a thief that takes your money in return for insinuating yourself between you and your readers. i'm talking about a host of services and portals some well established, some fledgling and some being invented even as we speak available everywhere across the internet and everywhere the internet is available. i don't know why writers are mourning a death for so little so long especially when there's so much to be excited about. from where i stand, i can see a world not so far in the future in which books are soaped only by their authors for small collectives for one or two online portals that charge a nominal fee for their service rather than commanding the lion's share of revenue. a world free of the books of a retail system half or even a third of current prices in which they're published simultaneously as hard covers paper backs and electronic editions so that readers can immediately choose the options that's right for them. a world in which thousands of
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books are in printed and shipped across oceans and cannots only to be pulled 18 months later but where no book is printed until it's sold. a world in which the so-called online marketplaces set aside a portion of proceeds from used book resales and a royalty fund for writers who are back list are destroyed by amazon and barnes & noble and a hell in which amazon doesn't exist and barnes & noble and the books and mortar are small shops catering to local communities whose trust and tastes they save and i can see this word because i'm a prophet o-cynical because it's being built right now in the way some of the greatest monuments of the ancient world was built from the buildings that were destroyed by conquering armies. it's time that writers thought of themselves as an army rather than a city under siege. it's time we thought of money is not as a adjunct to the literary endeavor with a number of zeros to the left of the decimal point
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or on our advanced check but the way mark thought about money and keynes and mohammed eunice is something a person is entitled to for his or her labor. it's time we value our writing for its aesthetic value its moral or political weight but as work as part of the myriad of activities necessary to build the physical and intellectual infrastructure of society. and when we give away our work, our words will free. we are telling the world exactly how much we think it's worth. writers by their very nature spend so much time describing the world that they often forget they're building it too. that until the imagination conjures it from the aside the hand can't forge it in wood and steel. i suppose, i should talk about building this new world together. the truth is this is something we have to build individually one writer one writer one story, s.a. poem at a time. it's not a question of working together. circle the wag jong stock piling the weapons sending off the bar barions at the gate.
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it's merely a question not working against each other and our own best interests. remember the words that we write belong to us unless and until we give them away. [applause] so penn has asked us is manifesto. these copies -- copies of it are being distributed right now and you will be asked to sign it. you'll have, you know, the afternoon to review so don't feel like you have to give it to someone on the way out the door. >> and you have the choice to sign it or not to. >> that do. >> rehabilitate commitment. >> rehabilitate public service. >> rehabilitate provocation. >> earn doubt on criticism. >> on a mass falsehood. >> mash prejudice without hurting dignity. >> preserve autonomy without contempt. >> keep fantasy without illusion. >> oppose oppression without repression.
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disbelieve yourself. >> separate politics from government. >> don't respect culture as privilege. >> don't honor culture as a system of habit. >> make culture a free for all. >> writing is chaos. the state is order. >> people need chaos more than order. >> democracy is chaos. hierarchy is order. >> foster disorder, the unpredictable. [applause] >> all right. well, this is getting to be fun. [laughter] >> thank you, everybody. we have -- because we started late we're trying to catch up so we have a little while for your comments and questions so let's get on with it. we do have some roving microphones and i'd be grateful if you would wait for the mic. c-span is recording it and other people are here so we need to get your comments on the mic. so anybody want to kick off here? based on things in response to
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what you've heard? yes, over here. >> hello. >> speak into the mic. >> okay. there it is. i'm very pleased that this session is so much more vital than the opening night, which was entertaining but didn't have enough of the imagination of the writer which now isn't a matter of putting it against the imagination of the state but the global corporate state which really controls all our governments in a way. we americans are waiting for obama nirvana but what can he do when a supreme court decides a corporation is an corporation can contribute to political complaints. we are a complete olli gross
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marginy because of karl rove's clever united citizens. he uses language to control us to change the clean air act to the clean skies act and pollute us. so i hope you're all aware of that. and i think the gentleman who spoke of genetics, one of the great women of our time is combating monsanto. our president has made mr. vilsack secretary of agriculture. he comes right out of monsanto which is engineering seeds that will commit suicide after one generation of crops. so they are organizing people who hand their home grown seeds that they have treasured for generations to each other against this monsanto oppression of farmers of the world. mr. rushdie chose a very important theme really for the first night written on water but
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he was the only one who said, water is our only monarch. i didn't hear much of the public intellectual a-la emerson and al-la our high schools and they need to understand citizens united against -- the idea that the corporate state can now contribute to our election has made us an olligargy. we need writers imaginations against the corporate global state. our nations have little to say really and i want to refer you all to roj patel "the value of
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fog." he's a print economist who explains all of this and the corporation the pathological pursuit of power by joel bachmann because these nonfiction writers are so vital to us but we creative writers can use their facts to make brilliant meaningful human dramas full of empathy for the suffering who suffer under the global corporate state so thank you. i know many of you know what i'm saying but i just felt the need to say it. and i wanted to recommend those books to you. rog patel if you haven't already read the value of of nothing. our hamburger mcdonald's. it doesn't cost a dollar. it costs the pleasant and its resources millions and causes death everywhere when we chop down rain forests to graze cat hell we're so interconnected that the young people have made the point that we need to be
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planetary citizens as writers not nationalists so we need to uphold the diversity of culture and have respect for it. so forgive me for ranting but i feel that the end of the world is really upon us as we know it. and it's true, that we are allowing ourselves to be censored. we are afraid to name monsanto, exxon, the real villains in our novels and our poems. he with shouldn't be afraid to name these corporate states as the villains of our time and do all we can to get our governments to change the laws that affect these corporations that are treated as individuals. so even the point is they have to soul. and the ceos within them might even have a soul but they have to pay attention to the profit motive rather than human sympathy. thank you for listening to my rant. [applause]
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>> anyone else? over there and then over here. yes. >> i'm billy southern i'm a writer. i was interested in hearing from mr. norman, the prisoner in part because, you know, he's not dissimilar from the people that i represent who i think are largely absent from our cultural dialog. he brings up this good point that there's 2 million people in american prisons which is more people incarcerated per capita than anywhere ever. so it's this big incredible world historic sort of reality that mostly absent from our cultural discussion not that it
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affects so many people and that it's becoming more and more an international issue and i guess i look back and i just don't see very many people addressing that reality except for people who work with prisoners like myself or prisoners, of course, they're concerned about the issue, for good reason. i don't specifically know why that is except for the fact that most of the people who are affected by prisoner or poor and they're mostly minorities, i guess, it's not all together surprising. i write about prisoners and i write about what i view as the causes and consequences of time. and i think it's very difficult questions and then in our culture they become oversim applied. so most people their impression of law comes from order and they're ingrained from, i think,
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you know, all the wrong ideas about why these things happen. that some people are bad people, which i think the first speaker was talking about. that certain groups of people are bad people. and they deserve punishment. so we don't engage, you know, the deeper questions because the deeper questions are so hard. why do people do what they do. why do people make mistakes? can people improve themselves? but those are precisely the issues that literature is supposed to deal with. so from my part i was pleased to see there's a panel on prison in america because i think it is an important issue that we're not addressing and this hard issue and when we see issuing relating to prisoners -- like there was an art show in maine a few years ago that former -- this prisoner tommy manning who was, you know, a political prisoner but i think that's less important in the fact that he's now an artist and he made this art and he was convicted for killing i think it
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was a bank guard in the 1980s. and, you know, two or three years ago he wanted to have this art show and he produced this art. and there was massive protests. it was in a public museum in maine. and everyone proposed the show before anyone got to see it. it illustrates one there's this person who's locked up like the man who wrote this essay and whose tran sending his circumstances. he's doing the thing that we would hope we would do in the circumstances but the second thing the total lack of empathy forgiveness and charity for people who make mistakes. >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> over here on the microphone and then behind. >> is this working? >> yes. >> i was actually very provoked by a lot of things people said provoked in a good way and
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thinking about this whole issue of the public voice of the writer and the degree to which it's gotten lost in the culture of fox news and donald trump running for president and the weird down grading of culture. but i was also very moved by both the speeches of the people from mischief and mayhem because it was a reminder of something that to me it was kind of an idealistic energy and that is we have to fight for what we believe in. because it's very easy to attack and i love to attack. i was a theater critic for five years. but i was the theater critic on the web and i could attack the government and it was the bush regime so it was satisfying to me. beoften, i think, feel very -- like we don't have any power. and the forces against us are so great. and i'm a talk show radio host once a month and the ahead of my show is that we can't talk about prisoners but i'm on the prison-writing committee and i've got all these interesting
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story about prisons no, we can't talk about it. it's a downer and i think i'm going to have to work on that harder. but i think we have many opportunities -- i mean, as a poet, i read prisoners' poems sometimes. i don't just do my own poetry. i read prisoners' poems and i think the turn-around that we can't just go down with the very reasonable cynicism of our times and hopelessness because we look at so much environmentally politically, et cetera. but the energy of these two people like we've got to go out there and fight the radio station or the editor or whomever and we have to find the outlets where we can say what we really want. so i found that exciting and the idea of bringing the public voice of the writer back. >> that's great. we have about five minutes so if we could get a couple -- over here, please.
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>> i'll keep them brief. i'm philip turner and i speak of a veteran of two worlds. an independent bookseller for many years and a corporate member of publishing industry a staff writer for many years who went independent in the last couple of years and became a pen member this year. i joined ranks with mischief and mayhem i'm interested in what you're doing. and we'll like to explore that with you and address your conference. >> my name is janice tiller and i'm a novelist and i have the following of a background and i would like to thank a lot of very interesting speeches and maybe one thing that needs to be added the problem is not one corporation or a corporate culture. it is that the system we have created in our part of the world, now works as a regime but there's no clear authority.
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the markets as a whirlwind actually pushing us in one direction like the totalitarian regimes do in autocratic countries. but who do we rebel against? we are all part of this system whether we buy a cheap t-shirt that was made by slave workers in china or the soap we use that has some chemicals in it that make the fish turn their hormones in the wrong direction. it's great when some people stand up and say, no, it's great. i want to hear from the young people here but somewhere the system goes so deep that it's impossible today to be an ethical person totally all the way through in our part of the world. and yet i believe we all have to do ours and stop saying no somewhere. and one great thing was we always have the freedom to say no. so this is my little
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encouragement that we start to say no so we can say yes to something better. >> let's have one last question here and then we'll take a little break. >> i think the growth we are in is so complex i think we need to revive something that has been lost which is the power of organization. because we have all become very individualistic. we are only thinking about doing it on our own. and i think definitely this is a battle that cannot be won unless we somehow become a group. unless some of us are daring enough to go out there to become a group and forceful enough and have people who are powerful and who threaten in a way the policing industry because they mean a lot of money and they mean a lot of income and really
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go about it. we have to lobby among ourselves and i think we have to start creating a movement because it's impossible without it one by one. that is what i think. >> i'm president of the pan american center. i'd like to welcome on you behalf of the pan american to the second session to this morning's writer competition. well, if you tell writers that they have 10 minutes to speak we should expect to be late by this stage of the proceeding so we are running late so i'm going to -- i'm not going to make any remarks on my own. i'm just going to introduce each of the three people who are going to be speaking. this morning i'll introduce them before they speak.
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my prepared remarks are i'll put them on my website. we have a canadian essayists, novelist and president of international penn so president of the overarching international penn organization of which the pan american center is just one part. there's many books among them voltaire's bastards, the dictatorship of reason in the west and also the uncivilization and the collapse of globalism, which was rather prescient about the economic crisis that occurred after it appeared in 2007. his books have been translated into many languages. there's 22 here. i'm sure probably more than that by now in 30 countries. he's received many national and
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international awards including the medal in chile, the governor general literary words and in 2003 he received the grand prize for literature in south korea so would you please join me in welcoming john ross international president but also a great canadian writer. [applause] >> thanks, anthony. well, let me begin by saying it's self-evident -- well, no, i'll begin by saying like salman i was a child writer and it was exactly how he described it and what it felt like to be in that strange building. central park south. on the subject of the day, the state does not have an imagination. the state is not capable of
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imagining. and salman's wonderful quote from danielle tish, tish of the soviet tito era which is to say everything has to be done in triple irony, sometimes to get it past the sensors but simply because the situation was deeply ironic and, therefore, it needed to be read that way. the state doesn't have a memory -- doesn't have an imagination. individuals have imagination. individuals turn imagination into acts. they may use the collective unconscious. they may use society but it comes out of individuals and i suppose people like us have a very simple job which is to do the practical work of giving the forum of language to the imagination of the individuals. it's already there. in the early 20th century was filled with people trying to suggest that we were creating it out of our own imagination as
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opposed to sucking it up out of the imagination that existed out there among millions and millions of people were giving our individual forums but it's already there. so what the state has is the state has memory. the state's functions on memory, which is not the same thing as imagination. it's very rarely active memory. it's usually passive memory that the state functions on. that's not necessarily a bad thing. it's a sort of good thing. it could be stable, a good combination of the two. it's memory of the state is all about assumptions. you run things on the basis of what is assumed to be in place. it's assumed that you could do or should do or should act in certain ways. sometimes that's a great protection for democracy for rights. sometimes it's a terrible force that stops change and serves a small number of people. in order to run things on the basis of memory, the state needs
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to control language, again, the opposite of imagination. and so really the state is in the job of killing language. i'm not talking about any particular state. it might be a democracy it might be of the right and the left. but the state always been in the business of killing language. the creation of dictionary which is the beginning of the building of the modern western nation states was all about the state getting control of the language by creating upper language for us, the elites which we could talk among ourselves using and we could be controlled in our use of it and then beneath of that to be popular language which would have no direct role of the running of the state. so the state is about controlling and killing language and shaping what will be done through assumptions about memories. and then the state is run by governments. they come in. they go out there's all kinds of
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governments. some are there for money. some are there for jobs. their own jobs. some are there because of class. some are there because of habit. most governments aren't terribly ambitious so they just work on memory. periodically they're ambitious governments. some of them are good, some of them are bad. you now have here a government that came in on the basis that it would be ambitious and now you're trying to decide whether that's true or not. but there can also be very negative -- i mean, you know, hitler came in as an ambitious government. and what ambitious governments need to change memory. they need to change the way in which everybody remembers things because that's the justification for what the state is going to do. so they go fishing around in people's memories pulling out either negatives. you heard all about the negatives from frank at the beginning. or they might be pulling out the positives which are memories of egalitarianism, memories of inclusion so there's this enormous pool from which governments who want to change memory, enormous pull in which
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they can work. and so what we writers do in the midst of all of that we're the people who are persistently independent if we're doing our job right. and we're in the business of constantly changing memory through imagination. we're constantly supposed to be upsetting memory through imagination and fink of what is to be done part of what we're doing here there are many, many examples in this country and other countries but for me the clearest example is that wonderful one which begins with the lisbon earthquake, the flattening of lisbon, thousands of people dying in hovels, you know, children, women, people involved in no way, shape or form in politics of any sort at all and the state which i think was responding to aez well -- well-known jesuit intellectual who spoke for the memory of the european state stood up and said, wrote a very famous piece
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and said well, this is god judging people for their sin. well, that's fine. that's what the state says. that's how it works and voltaire this rather annoying person to put it mildly wrote a single poem on the lisbon earthquake, which isn't a particularly good poem. it's medium long. i don't know how many have read it. but, of course, it went just like a wildfire across europe because what it did in -- the time it took to read it was it demonstrated by changing the language and, therefore, changing -- through imagination changing the memory bank of the people of europe, elites. it was read in the streets. people who didn't read and write heard it as well. suddenly they realized that the jesuit was a fool, an idiot, not worthy of anything but mockery. therefore, all jesuits were fools. therefore, kings were fools. therefore, the old order was over. and it was done with one poem. it took if i remember it takes 2 minutes or a minute and a half
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to read. that's what we do at our best. that's what we can do to engage independents. and i think one has to add to that something really essential which is we tend to think that freedom of expression is about us. and other people who speak up and write. bills of right and freedom of expression is only very partially about us. it's actually about listening and reading. and if you go by numbers, it's far more about listening and reading than it is about writing and speaking because there's a lot more people listening and reading than it is of us. it is that whole thing. if you can't read and you can't listen, then your freedom of expression has been removed. it's not passive reading at all. let me be very practical in a way as president of penn international. i think that if you look at that context that i just described
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and you're going to go to these workshops this afternoon, i think that we as writers and as members of penn have to be incredibly careful today because we've seen in the last 30, 40 years the rise of thousands and thousands of people in a third sector, the ngo sector. red cross and penn invented the ngo in the 19th century and early 20th century. we invented it. we are the original ngos those two but, of course, there's a big difference between us and most other -- virtually all other ngos which is to say virtual all ngos if they're doing all good work such as the environment as the students from bart -- they talked about it. even when they're doing wonderful work there's essentially top-down organizations. they have members, enthusiastic members they are top-down driven organizations. and this is a grassroots organization, 20,000 writers in
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104 countries, in 144 centers. we are driven by our members. we are a grassroots bottom-up organization. and if we're not, we're absolutely failing in the way we work. and so i think we have to very, very consciously, if we want to fix things, change things, we have to move consciously away from the ngo model. we must not allow ourselves to be sucked in to the idea that we're an ngo among many ngos. of course, we work with them. they're great. but we're not one of them. we're actually something quite different. we're actually the people of the language who are at the center of the changing of the way in which the imagination affects memory and, therefore, affects the state. ngos are essentially -- have essentially been invented -- and this is going to sound a bit strange. essentially inventive in the old italian mussolini model which is
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in the corporatist state those oppose the corporation are the shadow of the corporation. so that if somebody is cutting down trees you have an organization against cutting down trees. it's limited by the fact that it's in the shadow of the person who is doing evil work. and it can't get past that. there's a whole world now of people opposing the evil of. they can't get past it because of the shadow of it. right? sort of a plaitonist problem if you'd like. and we are not that. we are not the shadow of the problem because we're at the core of the imagination and of the changing of the memory. we're a very different kind of thing. so our job in a way is constantly to our books and through speeches and so on, through the oral and the written to expand the public space in which the conversation takes place which allows the imagination to change the memory and to make power work very differently and we have to do that in a very sustained kind of way.
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let me just finish with practical examples, you know, when the taliban -- forget what you think about troops being in or out of afghanistan, separate issue. when the taliban fell in afghanistan, penn went in immediately, led by our then international secretary who had a lot of contacts in the area. he found and pulled together the surviving writers, talked to them and they decided they wanted to start a penn center. i was there a few months later. over half of kabul was flat because of the civil war before that. there was no electricity. there was no glass in any windows. there was nothing. there was no running water. there's nothing. second world war that happened but i hadn't seen that anywhere in any of the war zones i'd been. and a penn center was started in the middle of that. and as soon as as we could, we got a little money together and bought them a house because if you didn't have a place to meet in private, you couldn't really talk. and as soon as they had the house, and then there was a bit of electricity we went to the embassies and got them computers
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and then -- i've been to that house, i think, in 2003. and it's filled with young people writing and then we found a bit of money and helped them start a publishing company. and today it's the largest publishing company in afghanistan publishing 400 books a year. now, i don't know what's going to happen politically but what i know is that as writers we have done precisely what we ought to do in a place like that and we've made it possible for people of the imagination to have an effect on what's going on there. what stops us from doing that all over the place? well, i think in many ways -- you heard a bit of it this morning. you heard bits and pieces of what's gone wrong that we have in a way allowed ourselves to be talked into believing that we cannot change the memory. we cannot change the structures of how governments and power functions. it's a great failure of our
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language even though great books -- never stopped being written. we haven't figured out that thing that voltaire did in that magical moment. some people have done it in some places but we've allowed in the last 25 years the normalization of the south sea bubble so that it's perfectly normal. we've allowed the normalization of economic fraud as a way of running western democracies. we've allowed, you know, in the last five years bust the bubble debt to be transferred to the citizenry. i mean, this has never happened before. i think the last time it happened was in greece. you know, at the beginning of greek democracy that actually the private lenders would be able to transfer their debt to the citizenry thanks to the government. that is an enormous failure. not of the government. not of the state. it's an enormous failure of us
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that we didn't find the language to make this seem absolutely impossible in public communication. i think that it could be found and can be found. .. how the country that has the most interesting is iceland where the people have spoken of twice and refused what the
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entire international government, state and economic system is said to have. they're lucky they have a president who is siding with the people. i hope the irish do the same thing. you heard this morning about the return of racism. i write about what is happening with democracy in the west in particular. i noticed in the mid 90s are was saying the frightening return of negative nationalism and later into the night the frightening return of negative nationalism and 1930s populism and then five years ago i was obliged to add the frightening return of racism to respectable position in western civilization. i never thought i would be writing that sentence saying that racism had become
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respectable again. in a way we are faced with this enormous challenge that somehow we are not succeeding in preventing these things from happening. i will finish by saying a couple books were recommended to you. i think you should read a small -- the last book by richard rory called achieving our country ridden in 1998. it is a book about the failure of the intellectual class to do what i have just been describing. he describes how the intellectual class was able to do this in an earlier period but in this last period in a way of victims of respectability, canadians, europeans, have talked ourselves out of doing the kind of foot slogging work which is required in order to change things. we do succeed sometimes and i will give you a couple examples.
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pen international led by american pen took on the issue of the move to make religious defamation illegal at the international level. you could actually be accused of defaming the religion because you criticized it. we went to geneva and did a video of writers around the world and we actually created a great shock in geneva and it was one of the key factors. they dropped the old drive after decades of fighting to legalize religious defamation. that is a victory for us. the peace prize which is a victory for pen and the concept of pen in dealing with china. americans pay the leading role in doing that. many of us were there at the ceremony. when you are in a fight like
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that you are in act 1-1/2 of the 10 act drama and you have to keep going. there is no 15 minute thing. you keep going and keep going and it goes up and goes down and you keep thinking of ways in which you can deal with this. it is not said very much pen international played a role in the fall of the battery regime. he fought and fought having to go into exile and the president stayed. she and dry went to the european parliament in the autumn and testified against the regime because it was in the middle of negotiating -- we are talking power -- negotiating a close economic relationship with the e you. this was ben ollie's last chance to get more money to keep his
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family and supporters happy. the money would pour in and go where it goes and in -- they were worried about the e you not liking the kind of regime so they passed a law making it treason for a citizen to criticize tunisian policies before a foreign government or organization and their minister of justice said publicly we are doing this to ensure this essential agreement with europe -- we went -- i am explaining this because this is howard happened. we went to the european parliament and testified. they included four opposition mps to speak against us and it was one of those beautiful days when all we had to do was say here is the law and the speech by the minister of justice. he says they have to put everyone in prison and shutdown freedom of expression to please you the europeans. they can't do a deal with you
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unless they shutdown freedom of expression so if you do this deal you are actively complicity in shutting down freedom of expression. i watched the european mps smiling because they saw this was clear. this was a victory for language in terms of action and that was the end of the deal. when ben halley left power he would suddenly. the elite just decided no more money is coming on top of everything else so he came out of his bed room and there was no one there. he got on a plane and left before it was too late. last belarus, famous country about which you hear every day. in the middle of europe run by a dictator -- worse than ben ali, interested in his power and
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money. a trial just started up. eight of our key ten members including a candidate for president of belarus who has been beaten to a pulp already twice. the trial just started. no one can figure out how to get at them. we just had a talk about this in brussels and i can tell you that the lee interesting thing about this dictator is he as a obsessed by one thing out side of power and money -- hockey. i won't say -- i am a canadian. it is one word sport. in europe is the two word sport, grass hockey. = wayne gretzky everything. they have won the right to hold world championship in two years which gives us a lever with which to do something. i am trying to explain that
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there are these great ideas about the imagination but at the end of the day they have to come down to what richard work talked about. are you in the street? are you willing to fight? will you be here when the fight is still going on? will you persist? that is where pen is about. thank you. [applause] >> thanks ferry much. next, a hungarian philosopher and great writer of essays who emigrated from romania in 1978 for a couple years at the university of budapest. he was fired for publishing and signing -- we don't have the notion of an illegal track. we believe all tracks are illegal. he became a leading figure in the movement eastern europe. he was elected to parliament in
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1990 and became director of the institute of philosophy of the hungarian academy of science in 1991. in the mid 90s he stepped down from both of these positions and we are lucky to have him here today. to talk to us. thanks. [applause] >> very briefly i know time is tight. if i have to address the problem of one sort or another are needed i offer you the simplest argument. they are needed because capitalism is a word i haven't heard today. it is a conceptual sort of thing. capitalism has two basic languages in which to express itself. one is low and the others
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economics. both are intellectual pursuits. both are constructed from elements created by philosophy. capitalism itself and opposition to capitalism are of an intellectual nature. let me give you a simple example to offer a contrast. thinking about the world in conceptual terms is not new but the world about which such vote was practiced was not always conceptual itself. confucius said in his wonderful analysis that the main duty of the thinking person was to follow the ancients as perfectly as he can. this was the simplest way to say that the guiding principle of
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such a society was to understand, refine, make tradition to make it subtler and adapt it to your needs and whoever understands more deeply what is there will comprehend and be able to change if need be his or her world. confucianism is not such a world that all. let me give you a very solid example of what i mean. as you know, there has been some talk today about global in justice and the lack of distribution of goods and services and so on which is any
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way the breakdown of a global society in which at least in words social justice is the main aim which breaks down by the end of two version of the welfare state, one of the wealth -- western welfare state and communist welfare state in the east towards the end of the 1970s. these two welfare states have been comprehended for a long time and it was considered the basis of national politics and ideology which is anti communism. what is supposed to be the fight of a free society against a not free society which is a perfectly adequate description, but this was supposed the fight of the free world against socialism. it was supposed to be the
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eastern bloc's social system was socialist. what did this mean? could anybody prove the main characteristics of capitalism, commodity production, wage labor instrument which is money, inequality separate from society cease to exist? none of it ceased to exist in the soviet system which was a radical example of rampant capitalism lacking some characteristics. the market was an intellectual institution which can be
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comprehended through mathematical models replacing other methods namely planning. the bargaining between state institutions that resulted in the creation of the economic plan that dominated stalin as society's shows some strange similarities to the market. it is based on various mathematical models of valuation that will materialize in crisis. the fight about wages which is a fight going on in this country was not less characteristic in the soviet union than it is now in the united states or anywhere else in a capitalist society. the great conflict that
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characterized public life of the western world for 60 or 70 years was a very real fight but of course not comprehended because it was never really taken seriously from a conceptual point of view. very few people understood this. but the idea of how to address soviet dictatorship was inadequate and we are facing the result, consequences of this. what was the basis of the fight against totalitarian dictatorship? not because i don't want to say harsh things about it. i want to say harsh things about it that happen to be true. the fight against
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totalitarianism has always been moralistic. it has been explained unjustly that soviet type systems were conspicuous by throwing people into jail, silencing people, blacklisting people. it is all true. is it specific enough? was the soviet type of dictatorship the only one to curtail freedom of speech, torture or deport people? therefore after the changes of 89 the people of eastern europe and the people of china and vietnam because they too get rid of one party system unavoidably,
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the terrible consequences of lacking intellectual vigor, we were telling 89 liberals, we were telling our people that now that aggression is finished and liberty has come, that will lead to a refreshing and renewing of human life. this of course has not materialized and now we have to live through a terrible time in which our compatriots are telling as you have conquered freedom. this is a free society. whether it is free or not it is disgusting. people are being oppressed, they are being cheated the additional
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they are being unequal, they are suffering from various manipulations, therefore rejecting freedom. because we have not been rigorously enough in understanding variations of capitalism in a satisfactory conceptual way. it is why we need public intellectuals and not public crooners. this is why we need 30 more than indignation and poetry more than talking heads on television. what we need more than anything else is rigor, precision, parsimonious views of the written and spoken word. and who to turn to for such things than professional writers
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-- licensed profits without a church. this is what we have to turn to. and if it is mayhem and mischief try to convince us that we are in a process of betrayal where we have always been. it is a version of the trail -- be trail that happens when literature and thought is taken over by the publishing industry and party censorship was no better. there is no guarantee that an existing system that gives the final, definitive and solid guarantee for good use of the written word, of thought and imagination. i would feel embarrassed if i
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had to offer be vigilant, be severe, but the thing is not -- what is really needed is an uncompromising rehabilitation of thought against the claims of a false democracy. false democracy pretends two mendacious claims. people are dumb, you respect fellow citizens, pretend to be done yourself. both are mendacious and both are expressions of deep contempt for humanity. therefore i would propose because our have to end on moralistic note in the nature of
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such speeches, not in the nature of the way i am thinking but it will definitely be and christian in this room. what we need more is not humility but pride. thank you. [applause] >> in this gathering it is absurd to be introducing toni morrison. if you don't know who's she is, leave. rather than tell you things you already know let me tell you that even though i am president of the pan-american center, toni morrison, my favorite writer.
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[applause] [silence]
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[inaudible conversations] >> hello. [applause] i can stand long so i am sitting and i apologize for my in freddie's. infirmities. i don't care if you don't like it because i am 80 and i take certain liberties. [applause] what i want to talk about this afternoon is the loss of public
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life which is exacerbated by the degradation of private life. and i am proposing literature has an amelioration -- to this crisis in ways that even literature cannot have imagined. during the 80s and 90s technology and a regime of electronically visual world have altered the perception of the public and altered our experience of each other. the current age of the spectacle promised intimacy and universal as asian in a global village setting. but it has delivered frightful
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confusion about public and private existence. following the demise of the much maligned 60s and 70s during which there was an actual contested fog for and fought against public -- publicly expressed life it seems unlikely now that there will ever be a decade like that where issues of conscience, morality, law and ethics were liberation rather than what they were now which seems to be aggressive. it is interesting to note that it is a decade like that now is embarrassed by itself. that kind of public life, civil
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rights movement, feminist movement, is not experienced as media phenomena made possible by the enormous waste of advertising and media fantasy which suppresses the realities of division and exploitation. disguises -- between private and public organizations of images like a stopwatch and passes its organization to us as a form of the real. renews promises to inform us yet the promiscuity of the nightly news, the jostling together of
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tornadoes here and gunman there and heart surgery of infants and striking teachers is dictated by the time constraints of the medium but the jumble of events is presented to the viewer as if it were a representation of the promiscuity of the external world which we find incoherent. millions of people look to the screen for signs of their collective identity as a national society and citizens of the world. the media now play the decisive role in constituting the so-called imagine community of nation and of global. in this fashion the news is validated as a system of authority as a national institution which a privileged role, which a privileged role as
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a purveyor of the nation's identity and taker of its post. but something has gone wrong. the formula, the authority, the paradigm, goals, the goals of the spectacle may not be working. television once routinely presented views as sacred spectacle. the funeral of john f. kennedy. the wedding of prince charles, today, tomorrow, another one. presidential inaugurations. the death of diana. all implied that what was on
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view was of great national and international significance. but in the merging of news which is not news unless it is pictorial with spectacle in the service of profit making entertainment. certain electronic narratives or originally constructed as official or national stories revealed not the promised national identity but the fault line within. war becomes a kind and shaped story. electronic questions become political ones. when will we get out? when will the troops come home? when will be desperate be dead? where is the doctrine, meaning the title of the story?
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all of these investigations, impeachment hearings, trials, whitewater, time and narrative all subject to televised programming needs and it is fascinating to recall that virtually all of these stories are highly inflected by race. and sex. and power wielded or withheld by either one. these national spectacles did not hide divisions as they wished but exacerbated them. we can't count on the spectacle to distract completely. it is likely to damage, alter or
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distort language, distort the moral imagination and concepts of liberty and access to knowledge as our consciousnesses are reduced and we become adds for ourselves under the pressure of the spectacle that threatens our experience of the public and private dichotomy. the question becomes how and where can we experience the public in time and language as asset and in context in order to participate fully in one's ownr.
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what is the source of the deeply personal plan? the second to the corporate investment publicly traded. the first personal claim to privacy can be abandoned on a talk show or personal claim to privacy can be lost in the
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courts by public figures and celebrities and so on? in any case such connotations of privacy are under surveillance at all times. the privatization of public institutions, purported very well these days in the courts also. but represented to us as for the public good encouraging competition and so forth, lower prices and increased quantity, redefined as special interest. the slippage in these definitions so he raced boundaries between an individual and is an adjunct community. we are not surprised or agitated
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by the fact that public life is now rendered as visual phenomena as a chosen narrative that exploits and sensationalizes sex, family threats for a national residence and the marketability they provide. this chaotic collapse of private and public, constantly surveyed private life and public's fear sphere over which we have no control encourages the retreat into narcissism of difference. a surrender to the shallow delights of entertainment or participation in an illusory community shaped by fear and an
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unquenchable desire. literature offers a very special kind of amelioration to these forces. the reason they or we teach literature or are encouraged to read literature are three. first, literature is character building. it is morally strengthening. it is suitable for high-minded leisure activity. -- its role in cultivating powers of imagination that are essential to citizenship. while being educated to citizenship is superior to being educated to consumership
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citizenship has a goal as a troublesome nationalistic association. the problem with nationalism is not the desire for self-determination but the particular illusion that you can be at home, you can be understood only among people like yourself. what is wrong with nationalism is not the desire to be master in your own house but the conviction that only people like yourself deserve to be in your house. whether the character building properties of literature is rigorous, politics, intellectualism or utility in producing goods and caring citizens, whether any of these
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claims resonate among readers, varies nevertheless a level of urgency now, particularly now in the study of literature hitherto unimaginable that has manifested itself. fictional literature and non fictional text and i believe they are the last and only routes to remember what staunches the wasteful draining away of conscience and memory. literature may be the alternative language which can contradict and/or analyze the regime, the authority of the electronically visual or virtual
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world. the study of fiction may be the mechanism of repair in the disconnect between the public and private. it has features that make it possible to experience the public without coercion or submission. literature refuses and disrupts controlled consumption. controlled consumption of the spectacle designed to nationalize identity in order to sell product. literature allows us -- demands of us the experience of ourselves as multi dimensional persons and in so doing is far more necessary than it has ever been. it deals with the human
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consequences of the other disciplines, the human consequences of history, of law, science, economic and labor studies. the human consequences of medicine. as narrative its form is the principal method by which knowledge is appropriated and translated. the only sources of knowledge that are not narrated our math and music. as a simultaneous investigations of human character in time, in context and in space, metaphorical expressive language it organizes the disorienting influence of an excess of reality, heightened reality, virtual reality, cyber, porous,
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nostalgia. it can also project and alleviated future. i sometimes think authors don't know how valuable they are. i don't mean the personal pride we take in our work, but value to the culture, to the world, in making language work. thank you. [applause] >> okay. we have ten minutes for contributions from the floor, questions. while you are preparing them
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there are people circulating with my friend. i should tell you those who are planning to leave from the hotels the vans for the afternoon session will be leaving at 1:34 the hotel. i won't say who would like to follow that. does anyone have anything they would like to say at this moment? yes? go ahead. there is a mike coming. >> this is a question for all the authors of the first two speakers afternoon session talked to a large extent about injustice and inequality especially with respect to
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socio-economic status. i am just wondering if we can agree for a moment that any quality is inherent not to human society but life itself, without inequality there the disparity that feed the imagination in a way that can't be separated. if we can agree to that extent that inequality is inherent to life, how can we justify our struggle for relative equality as we have been so encouraged today? >> you asked a philosophical question and i will our a philosopher to answer. >> good news.
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inequality is a consequence. they are not inherent in any kind of society and indeed it is a fact of life. you said so that the complex societies known to us we have numbers of disparities and differences and distinctions between people. let me tell you this. there are two kinds of inequality. one is in cast societies in europe, in which the basic idea in society, belonging to a certain cast is a given biological given. you are born into it. you know the word blue blood and
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so on. nobility moral and biological differences. if you asked a similar question in 1712 or 1711 people would have said of course the richness of life is a result of people of different intrinsic biological values cooperating in a society based on separation. if you would have said that, it seems to me people belong to the same species and so-called biological differences -- this kind of enlightenment -- similarly if i were to tell you
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today income disparities, cultural differences, societal differences, socialization and culture, not natural but historical created by historical development's and history means things change. these things have been historical created by inequality and disparity created by a certain juncture and they won't always be so. [applause] >> the narrative--doubt whether or not the market is in defense
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-- the idea of humanistic ideas can prevail and in the power of words and i believe that humanistic ideas can prevail and we can reclaim the space that belongs to humanistic ideals but i wonder what you think we can break through the role of the populace, actually these communities to engage in a meaningful public discourse in the first place. of course i have some ideas about it. i think we need to use words and metaphors that capture the imagination of both communities and those that need to translate
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the idea to language that is not so sophisticated that it could be only in smaller circles so i wonder what can give us the best chance to turn markets and create meaningful public discourse and make the idea function in the united states. >> somebody want to say something quickly about that question? we have four more minutes. >> you talked about socialism. we have to find new words for things like socialism like the human decency part because words like socialism and such are so dirty. liberalism is a dirty word in
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america today. we need to create a new language. when we talk about the oppression of the present system we need to realize it is a huge part of the american economy. one person said 40% of the economy is based on the prison industry. we have to realize prison is an industry in many countries. those were some thoughts. uva never afraid to name the united fruit company. >> pass that forward -- >> there's a difference between e quality and egalitarianism which is not talked about often. secondly concepts of the difference of intelligence is what the question was hinting at has been proved problematic
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because it had within it an idea of speed and what we learned in the last half century is it seems being faster at getting at things hasn't worked out that in fact bring in people who have different ways some of which might be slower would have been extremely valuable in preventing us making major mistakes that we made and in terms of populism the populism is what it has always been when surge in leaders used the fear within themselves. the talent to appeal to get at the fear in other people which we all have because they themselves are terrified. great populist leaders are always people deeply insecure and deeply terrified. if your self confident you get a lousy populist leader because you won't get fear in other people so the answer to populism
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is always about dealing with the fear that all of us have. that is the intellectual problem. >> allow that to be i suppose optimistic, to be the last of this session but we have a lively festival with many words still to be spoken and many opportunities to participate but i want to thank very much the three of view for participating in helping move this dialogue ahead and ask our visitors -- i won't refer to you yet again as young people. i will just refer to u.s. people we are pleased to have with us as members of the community. thank you very much and see you in other venues around the festival. [applause]
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>> for more information on the pen festival visit pen.org. booktv visited charleston, south carolina to explore the city's literary culture with our cable affiliate comcast. visit c-span.org/localcontent. now a look at the process behind preserving books. >> i am head of special collections of the charleston library. many of the books here were books that were donated by private citizens in charleston
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and that formed the core of the collection at the college of charleston. john mackenzie was the goose creek planter and a lawyer by education. he was a educated in cambridge and received his law degree in the 1750s but never practiced law. he accumulated 800 books. we have the inventory of the books that was done in 1772. he passed away in 1771. about 800 titles. the books were stored at the charleston library society. when he died in 1771 the college of charleston had no buildings, no students so they were stored at the library society and charleston had a fire in 1778. out of the mackenzie books of
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the 800 probably 77 exist today. with the college of charleston, friends of the library are trying to reestablished mackenzie's library like the library of congress, one of the things we have done is the books you can see survived are not in great shape. i have a grant this summer and working with one of the students and i am teaching him to do some leather binding and we will work on surge in the volumes this summer. the volumes date from 1660 to 1760. mckenzie died in 1771. the volumes deal a lot with history, religion, art, plays
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and classics. i am going to walk through some of the process. you can see the spine on this book has been removed. accords have fallen off. we will have to be so this book. we take the book apart in to the signatures which is what this is. it has been taken apart in the various signatures. in order to be able to so the book what we do is we use some japanese tissue and create the signatures and you can see the japanese to issue here. we have done a little repair here on the book. this is what we have done. you can see the book expanded a little bit but this is what the book looks like after it had the
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tissue repair. we put a weight on it to keep it flat. and what we do is take the book after it has been put back in the signatures and had the japanese tissue repair this is called a sewing frame. what we do is take some thread that has been waxed and we will so each signature to these scourge because they were originally sewn on race course. scoreds. this is some of the linen thread that we used to sell the book -- to so the book. this is what japanese tissue looks like. we have been using this -- this is a skin -- this is what we
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will use to cover the book. i have three books that i covered that -- hopefully -- this is one. you can see we have put the in chic in. you can see it is shown on the race scored -- cord. same thing here. these are some traveler books. >> how long does the process takes from beginning to end? >> we are working on 13 books. we started last week in may. hopefully we will be finished by the last week in july. we hope to get 13 books done. we have done three. we have them in the different
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processes now. it depends on the book. this is letters from italy. we did a little tissue repair. we are real excited about the project. >> where does the grant money come from? >> it came from the college of charleston. we got $6,500 and it goes to buy the supply of leather and tissue paper and it goes to pay my -- to do the work this summer. he attended a bookmaking whether bookshop in pennsylvania with don brash sayre i have been teaching him here. the next step after we get to this stage we will go to the
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back of the book. they were all hand tools so we will do that also and making the labels for the book. novel last part. >> do you know how much it costs to do it? >> it will depend on the size of the book. the works of john locke a little larger than this book. we estimate anywhere -- $350. we did the estimate on the books we are working on this summer. it is funny because the sheets are about $28 for the marbled sheet. six sheets. monday

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